Wed. Feb 1st, 2023

The international Siena Photo Awards has released the ‘Photo Of The Year’ and the winners in nine categories of its renowned aerial competition, the Drone Photo Awards.

The image entitled “Big Bang” by French photographer Armand Sarlangue, (below) has been selected as the overall winner by the jury of the prestigious contest, chosen from thousands of images submitted by 2,624 amateur and professional photographers from 116 countries.

Big Bang portrays a secondary fissure opening a few hundreds meters from the main crater of Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall volcano during its eruptive phase in September 2021.

Big Bang winner

The Drone Awards contest, according to the organizers, is “the most important worldwide competition about aerial photography and video, dedicated to a different photographic genre deliberately separated from being compared to traditional photography.”

The competition is open to aerial images and videos taken from flying platforms that include fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, balloons, blimps and dirigibles, rockets, kites and parachutes.

The exhibition “Above Us Only Sky” in the beautiful historical Italian city of Siena will showcase all the winning images from October 1 until November 20 as part of the Siena Awards International Festival of visual arts that includes three collective exhibitions dedicated to the Siena Awards photo contests: the Siena International Photo Awards, the Drone Photo Awards and the Creative Awards.

It also will show four solo photography exhibitions dedicated to photographers Danish Siddiqui, killed in 2021 in Afghanistan during one of his reporting trips; Ami Vitale, National Geographic photographer; Dan Winters, an icon of international photography and author of the most popular portraits of celebrities of the past 15 years; and Peter Mather, a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

Registration for the contest starts on May 1, 2023, and the deadline is June 15, 2023.

Splendid nature

As the drone climbed higher, Rouge noticed a particular atmosphere, where the light highlighted these dunes shaped as waves and flowing into the South Atlantic Ocean.

Under the slanting sunlight, the rice-growing Hani terraces of Yunnan, China, are covered with layers of rich dazzling shades looking like a colorful, heavenly ladder.

The terraces’ history spans some 1,200 years.

Wildlife, urban life

The image of a female polar bear standing on an ice floe looking after her two-yearling cub playing on the side was taken after living in the field near the polar bears for five months and spending hours each day with them to be able to capture their natural behaviour.

Brüsecke took this picture while on a several-weeks-long desert expedition. In the Omani part of the Empty Quarter there are still some wild camels that seem to appear out of nowhere.

Rooftops of Copenhagen’ Kartoffelraekkerne section in Oesterbro. The neighborhood was built in the late 1800s for working-class families. Today, it is one of the city’s most sought after areas.

The sand is partially covering the field of a basketball court after a sand storm in the United Arab Emirates. The viewer gets a glimpse of its original shapes and colors.

People at work and in sports

The photo taken in March 2022 shows competitors in the 46th year of the annual ski event, Bieg Piastów, held in Szklarska Poręba. Skiers whiz in their colorful clothing surrounded by snow-covered trees.

Surfer Chris Ross charges down a monstrous wave as it begins to barrel above him. The athlete looks like a small yellow dot in the blue immensity of the wave. Shot at a surf break called The Right in Western Australia.

A group of swimmers on a morning swim in the Eilat Bay, Israel, saw a dolphin nearby and started swimming towards it. It seemed as if it was waiting for them but when they arrived, it simply swam away.

Dhaka is located on the banks of the famous Buriganga River. Sadarghat river port of Dhaka is the busiest port in Bangladesh, servicing most of the districts in the country. People from both sides of the Buriganga cross it on small boats. The boat men working on them usually sleep on them.

A drone shot of rural people at work during the monsoon season in the wetlands of West Benga, India. Two of them in colorful hats harvest waterlilies, creating concentric rings of the flowers from which one of the two seems to emerge.

Women sort dry red chilies in a red chili pepper dry factory in Bangladesh to preserve them. They are paid $2 for 10 hours of work and in some places even less. Bogura’s chilies are famous around the country.

Several thousand people from different countries take part in the annual SUP (Stand Up Paddle) festival in St. Petersburg, Russia. Their paddle boards seem to be trapped in a colorful traffic jam.

People work hard in the salt pans in Habra, India, where they move the salt to form circular lines, triggering a slow evaporation under the hot sun. At the end of the day the salt will be collected in baskets.

Beautiful abstractions

The shape of this small island in Lake Tyrrell, a pink salt lake in Victoria, Australia, looks like a tiger’s eye with the small island at the center.

Geamăna Village in Alba County, Romania, was a human-made disaster. What remains today from what once was a thriving town is a toxic sludge cooper lake that has become very “instagrammable” for its eerie beauty. This picture was taken in winter, with the ice melting and creating those interesting forms.

The wedding photos

The photo portrays the sun’s rays on a body of water, a felled tree and a daring bride lying on top to complete the magnificent picture drawn by nature. The surface of the water looks like a starry night sky, while the bride seems to be a dreamy princess.

Even if you wander through the most inhospitable places, as long as you go hand-in-hand with the right person, you will be able to reap the fruits of love, just as sweet wine is grown in La Geria, a place of volcanic and hostile lands on the island of Lanzarote.

This image is one in a series the photographer took during a sailing trip to Chukotka and Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean between the Chukchi Sea and East Siberian Sea, covering more than 1,200 miles along the coast.

One day, to shelter himself from the incoming storm, he approached a small island, Kolyuchin, a former meteorological station in the days of the Soviet Union.

After seeing strange movements in the windows of an abandoned village, he caught a glimpse of the faces of some polar bears through his binoculars. There were about 20, mostly males, wandering among the abandoned houses while the females remained on the sidelines with their puppies.

Since it was too dangerous to land on the island, Kokh decided to use a drone equipped with low-noise propellers to photograph the animals without disturbing them.

The complete gallery of Siena’s Drone Awards winning photos here.

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